Golden High School financial secretary charged with embezzling almost $156,000

GOLDEN, Colo. - A financial secretary for Golden High School is charged with embezzling almost $156,000 over several years.

Judith Marie Eakins, 53, of Wheat Ridge, worked for the school between October 1999 and November 2012. She started as a paraprofessional but also held other positions before becoming a financial secretary in July of 2008.

An internal audit at the school revealed losses in several accounts Eakins managed between 2009 and 2012, said Jefferson County district attorney spokeswoman Pam Russell. Cash totaling almost $156,000 was never deposited on the school's behalf, Russell explained.

Some of the money involved came from ticket sales to school events such as the prom, concerts, plays and homecoming events. Russell said Eakins worked the door or gate at some of these events and personally collected money for ticket sales.

 

-- Investigation followed other allegation --

 

According to an arrest affidavit obtained by 7NEWS, the internal audit of Eakins' dealings as financial secretary was prompted by her arrest for allegedly stealing from her elderly mother.

Eakins was arrested in September 2012 by Golden police for a warrant out of Westminster in regards to that theft charge. It was after her arrest that Golden High School principal Brian Conroy placed Eakins on paid administrative leave and the school district began investigating her work as financial secretary -- a position she held since 2008.

According to the affidavit, Eakins was the only one who maintained the cash logs of the funds raised or donated to the school. Her job was to check the amount raised, enter in the total and deposit it in the school's safe, giving her ample opportunities to steal from the school.

It also stated Eakins would also use the school's Staples account to make personal purchases; a coworker claimed to have spotted her taking home a Motorola tablet and a tent.

Eakins told a Golden police investigator that she was not very good with money and her spending habits were greater than her income, the affidavit stated. Also she said she took the money to, "keep up with regular everyday crap."

Eakins' former in-law told police that Eakins spoiled her adult son, took many vacations and often would pick up the check at restaurants.

The entire arrest affidavit can be read here.

Students told 7NEWS they had frequently given Cash to Eakins, never suspecting it might go in her pocket.

"I feel betrayed. That money could have been used on things the school needs, like fixing leaky roofs," said Zach Mueller, a student at Golden High, "They have to put trash cans on in the halls to catch all the rain."

Eakins, contacted by 7NEWS in her jail cell, did not wish to comment, and her son also refused an interview.

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